The University of Georgia SBDC’s popular Maximum Series training programs are on the way to seven Georgia communities in 2016. Maximum or “Max” programs have a long history in Georgia. First developed as a program to serve rural communities, Max programs have evolved into a solid training program for Georgia entrepreneurs in all parts of the state, in cities large and small. There are six Maximum programs, each covering an important management topic during five weekly two-hour sessions.
“Maximum Marketing was the first Max program and has been delivered in literally every corner of the state,” says Max Marketing author Kyle Hensel, Area Director of the UGA SBDC in Savannah. Using the same delivery model, other SBDC faculty members developed Maximum programs for financial management, customer service, retail management, digital marketing and human resource management.
Maximum programs are led by SBDC Consultants who are subject matter experts and trained facilitators. This creates a dynamic learning environment with discussion and interaction among the participants. To keep the information flowing, applications are reviewed in advance to ensure competitive companies are not in the same class.
“A critical part of our effort is to work with strong local partners in the target communities,” adds Max Service co-author Debbie Finney, Area Director of the UGA SBDC in Albany. “Chambers of commerce and economic development professionals know what local businesses need. They help us pick the topics that are of interest to local businesses and connect us with the businesses that need our help.” These partnerships help the SBDC leverage resources and efficiently promote the program.
Thanks to a special grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), 15 Maximum training programs will be delivered at low cost or no cost to businesses in seven Georgia communities in 2016. In the selection process, the SBA evaluates how well the proposed services will meet needs of communities and whether the services provided under the grant can be replicated in other parts of the country that have similar needs.
“The SBA Portable Assistance program awards are very competitive. Only a small number of grants are awarded from applications submitted by SBDCs around the country,” says SBDC State Director Allan Adams. “In our application, we stressed our track record with Maximum programs and the talent of our people who deliver them.”
Maximum Series programs are a winning formula. Important information is delivered by experts to business owners in partnership with community leaders. If your community would benefit from this proven program, we would love to hear from you. Contact your local SBDC office or visit www.georgiasbdc.org/maximum for information.